The Belmont Abbey men's volleyball team suffered a pair of tough 3-2 losses this afternoon in Harstville, South Carolina. The Abbey lost to Coker in its opening match and then fell to Rutgers-Newark. Set scores in the Coker loss were 25-20, 20-25, 23-25, 25-22 and 12-15. Scores for the Rutgers-Newark match are not available, save for the 16-14 loss in the fifth set. Belmont Abbey is now 3-22 on the year.
Final statistics from the Rutgers-Newark match are not available. The two matches were the Abbey's second and third five setters of the season and the first since January 18 at King, which was the second match of the season.
Belmont Abbey faced Coker for the third time this season, losing January 8 by a 3-0 score in Bristol, Tennessee and defeating the Cobras 3-0 in Belmont on February 8 on the strength of a school record 15 blocks.
In the deciding match of the season series, the Crusaders jumped ahead 1-0 in the match as the Abbey won the last three points of the set on two Spencer Fournell kills and capped off by a Dustin Buell service aces to stake a 1-0 lead.
The Cobras evened the match with a 25-20 win of its own in the second set and moved ahead 2-1 with a tight 25-23 win in the third set.
In the third, Belmont Abbey led 21-19 but the Cobras won the next four to surge ahead 23-21. After an Abbey timeout, the Crusaders blocked Jared Geizer's attempt to pull back to within one, but Coker won two of the last three points to take a 2-1 lead in the match.
Belmont Abbey staved off the loss with a 25-22 win in the fourth. After Coker tied the set at 22, Fournell moved the Abbey in front for good with a kill. Jon Lowenhagen followed with a service ace and then a Cobras attack error ended the set, sending the match into a deciding fifth set.
Playing to 15, Coker stormed out to a 6-2 lead and held off a late Abbey charge. The Crusaders pulled the deficit down to 13-11, but two Cobras winners ended the match.
Fournell finished with a career-high 15 kills, surpassing his previous best by one. Evan Young added 11 as he hit .444 for the match. Buell posted 10 and a career-high four service aces. Lowenhagen added nine kills. Belmont Abbey hit .216 for the match as the Crusaders 50 kills is the season-high. Derek Sullivan handed out a season-best 45 assists. He added 11 digs. Libero Johnny Gomez led all players with 17 digs.